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Alcohol Habits and Health Care Use in Patients with Psychiatric Disorders
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Psychiatry, University Hospital. Division of Psychiatry, Uppsala University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Psychiatry, University Hospital.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Psychiatry, University Hospital. Division of Psychiatry, Uppsala University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden.
School of Education, Health & Social Studies, Dalarna University, Falun, Sweden.
2017 (English)In: Journal of dual diagnosis, ISSN 1530-3209, E-ISSN 1550-4271, Vol. 13, no 4, p. 247-253Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

OBJECTIVE: It is common for persons with psychiatric disorders to also have alcohol problems. Studies in the general population as well as in clinical samples have found hazardous or harmful alcohol habits to be particularly prevalent in the presence of psychiatric disorders. This study sought to explore the relationships between drinking habits and health care utilization (psychiatric as well as general medical) in persons seeking psychiatric treatment and to investigate the associations among age, sex, and type or number of diagnoses and health care use and costs. For the planning of targeted interventions, we also sought to identify subgroups with a high prevalence of hazardous drinking habits.

METHODS: From a psychiatric clinic for affective disorders at a university hospital in Sweden, patients who had been screened for hazardous drinking (N = 609) were selected. Patients with primary psychosis or substance use disorder receive treatment at other clinics and did not participate. Medical records data were grouped and compared. The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th Revision (ICD-10) was used for diagnoses and the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test for screening. Patients were grouped by drinking habits and sex, age, and diagnosis group, and their psychiatric as well as general medical health care use was compared.

RESULTS: Abstainers used psychiatric care more than all other drinking groups (p < .001). Psychiatric health care costs were higher in abstainers and low-risk drinkers (1.64 to 1). No differences in general medical care could be identified between drinking groups. Specific subgroups with higher rates of hazardous drinking could not be identified (44% of all males and 34% of all females reported such habits). Inconclusive results from previous research are most likely due to different methods used to classify drinking problems.

CONCLUSIONS: Abstainers and low-risk drinkers used psychiatric health care to a higher cost than the other drinking groups. Possible explanations are discussed from a clinical and scientific perspective. This study clarifies the need for uniform measures when classifying alcohol use in studies of relationships between alcohol use and health care use. There is also a need to separate former drinkers from abstainers in future studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 13, no 4, p. 247-253
Keywords [en]
Drinking habits, health care use, psychiatric treatment
National Category
Psychiatry Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-330153DOI: 10.1080/15504263.2017.1347307ISI: 000423373400003PubMedID: 28665254OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-330153DiVA, id: diva2:1151044
Available from: 2017-10-20 Created: 2017-10-20 Last updated: 2018-03-12Bibliographically approved

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Nehlin, ChristinaArinell, HansDyster-Aas, Johan

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